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Candice Manuel Shares Her Journey To Embracing Her Curves

Triple threat Candice Manuel, aka Candashian, shares her tumulus journey to self-love and steps towards breaking the societal boundaries of what beauty truly is.

With August as Women’s Month, one may look to Candice Manuel as a role model. She emerged from humble beginnings, starting out by participating in beauty pageant competitions to contribute to her household and soon strutted her way to the top, kicking down any negativity in her way – and in heels might I add!

Candashain is taking on the modelling industry while running a successful Instagram page and movement coined Embrace Your Curves. Though Candice is a strong and sexy women who conquers the workplace and social media platforms with extreme confidence, direction and positive influence, it is important to remember that embracing your body and redefining what beauty means for YOU comes at different paces for everyone. Self-love is not a race but a journey, which Candice lays out in a series of questions below.

Keep scrolling to read about her past, her tips, her inspo, her career and what’s next for Candashian!


When did you start to embrace your curves, what sparked the shift in how you viewed your body?

After many doors closed in my face due to me being “too fat to be a model”, I very quickly gave up the dream. It was harsh criticism to handle at the age of eighteen… Only when I empowered myself with work and studies and started posting pics of me at the beach with the family in my bikini, I realised how I had to reclaim the positive human I am and embrace the skin I’m in. Women started reacting to it, being liberated by my confidence, and this too liberated me. A true term of “empowered women empower women”. We all need one another to lift each other up and rise above the stigmas attached to curves.


Do you get negative backlash from social media?

Oh, most definitely. Comments like “Fat ass”, “You’re seeking attention”, How can you show your cellulite to the world?” etc. The usual troll mail.


Is it a set back in terms of confidence? If so, how do you deal with this?

Not actually. I read these comments and always ask myself, “would this be the same comments had it being a skinnier girl loving and embracing who she is, or would it then be deemed as “sexy”?” All I am fighting for is to have plus as equal– not better.


Do you think where you grew up is a key factor in who you are today?

Yes, growing up in Mitchell’s Plain has honestly kept me grounded and humbled me. I am PROUD to have grown up in an area where we are “supposed to become a statistic of our circumstance”. I feel that I have proven that the oppressive system DOES NOT define you and you can be and achieve ANYTHING you put your mind to.


Where did your inspiration for your brand Embrace Your Curves come from?

This sparked when I wanted to create my own platform. My dream was always to pursue my modelling career that was terminated due to my weight gain, and at the time Plus Size modelling was not as acceptable as it is now. I created this platform to allow women of ALL shapes and sizes to share their stories. We women could all learn a thing or two from our fellow sistas!


What has been the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve being blessed with so many so it’s a bit hard to chose. If I may select a top three it would be:

  • Having a full episode feature on Expresso
  • Walking an international runway as one of only five plus size ladies in the show
  • Being recognised and featured in Women’s Health SA (a fitness magazine) that has deemed STRONG as the new skinny and highlighting curvy women.


Where do you see yourself and your brand in five years? What changes do you want to see regarding body positivity?

I see it as a foundation and pioneer that women could look back on and say “She did it for us”. To be the face of hope for women who have felt silenced due to body shaming and bullying. I’d like to further my career in radio presenting and who knows.. maybe even television.


What’s your mantra for success?

In a world where I am dubbed as an “Influencer” I’ve chosen to redub it as a POSTIVE INFLUENCER… My mantra is always to remember what it is that I influence in my communities and to be a part of the changes I wish to see.


For women out there not knowing when to embrace their curves or shed the weight, what advice would you give them on how to know when weight gain is positive or negative?

Its all about balance and loving who yourself first. You alone can determine the changes you want to see in your body. But never let it define you!


What are 5 tips you can give the readers to embrace your curves?

  1. Do not wear smaller sizes in clothing
  2. Get comfortable underwear
  3. Make sure to own a pair of stretchy skinny jeans
  4. Own comfortable heels
  5. Always have a black blazer in your wardrobe


If you could go back five years and tell yourself something, what it would be?

The struggles will all be worth it. This too shall pass.


What is your go-to bad ass outfit?

Leggings, Colour Heel, White t-shirt and Black Blazer


Watch her full YouTube video here!

To all the beautiful bodies: Here’s to taking the steps to embracing your curves!

Outgoing Virgo and avid cacti collector studying a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Politics at UCT. I'm an aspiring writer who would like to pursue a career in the social media field as a copywriter or creative director, to translate my love for words into a force for change to empower women across the globe.
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